For the second straight night, the Mets offense was almost completely absent. They fell by a score of 2-1 tonight, and have scored just one run in each of the first two games out of this series, of which they’ve dropped the first two games of now.
The decisive blow tonight came from Manny Machado, who ripped a 1-2 slider into the left field party deck for a two-run shot, just one pitch after Chris Bassitt appeared to strike him out on a high strike not called. Blake Snell did not fool the Mets quite like Yu Darvish did last night, but he did not allow a run despite the Mets getting runners on base in nearly every inning against him.
Bassitt, for his part, pitched far better than he did in his last start against the Padres, where he allowed eight runs and couldn’t get out of the fourth. Tonight, it was just those two runs from the Machado homer over seven innings with a season-high 11 stikeouts and no walks. Bassitt was perfect through the first four and wasn’t far from perfect after that. You could make the argument he shouldn’t have even allowed the homer, as the 0-2 pitch to Machado looked like a strike.
It’s another sparkling start for Bassitt, who has really found his groove again after a rough stretch between May and June. In his last six starts, Bassitt has struck out 41 batters in 40.2 innings pitched and owns a 2.46 ERA across those starts. His rebound has been a very welcome development.
The Padres bullpen also did not blink until the ninth, when the Mets were finally able to put a little something together against Taylor Rogers. A Pete Alonso single—his third hit of the game—and a Luis Guillorme walk set up a JD Davis parachute single that scored Alonso from second for the Mets’ first run of the game. Tomàs Nido then came up with the tying run at third and the winning run at first with two outs. Despite Jeff McNeil, an All-Star with a near .300 average on the season, on the bench tonight, Buck Showalter kept Nido and his .489 OPS in to hit in the biggest at bat of the game, and Nido popped out to end the game.
With the loss, the Mets have dropped three in a row for just the second time all season. Their division lead drops down to just a half-game, as the Braves, as we know, never lose. The Mets offense has sputtered over the past few weeks, but they have yet to get going at all coming back from the All-Star break. They’ll try it again tomorrow night against Joe Musgrove, which will also likely be Daniel Vogelbach’s Mets debut.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +12.4% WPA
Big Mets loser: Eduardo Escobar -18.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: +5.7% WPA
Mets hitters: -55.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: J.D. Davis hits an RBI single in the ninth inning, +18.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Manny Machado hits a two-run homer in the sixth inning, -10.4% WPA